Town dent Hood’s title hopes
Dandy Town Hornets 3 Robin Hood 1
Dandy Town Hornets put a huge dent in Robin Hood’s title defence when they handed their depleted opponents only their second Premier Division defeat of the season at St John’s Field.
“It was a good way to start the year off,” said Kwame Steede, Town’s player-coach. “This win puts pressure on the teams in front of us, so it was a must-win for us.”
Town move up to third in the table, just a point behind Hood, who trail the leaders PHC Zebras by six points.
Hood were stunned by Town’s opener after just three minutes before two more goals went in to put the home side in control at the interval.
However, their problems started long before then after showing up with only 13 players, their ranks hit by injuries, suspensions and unavailability.
Antwan Russell, who scored in the season-opening 2-0 win over Town last September, was suspended after collecting a yellow card in the Friendship Trophy semi-final loss to PHC Zebras.
Shakir Smith was pushed forward from left back to boost the Hood attack, while they also had to replace injured goalkeeper Jason Simons, with Timmy Figureido, the former Bermuda No 1. Defender Jaylon Bather was also out through suspension.
Figureido had a baptism by fire, picking the ball out of the net in the opening minutes when captain Angelo Simmons hooked the ball over the goalkeeper and then forced it over the line despite a challenge from Jason Titterton.
Lejuan Simmons, the Hood captain, drove a low shot just wide of the post after winning a challenge with Edry Moore inside the Town half.
Hood were stunned further when Town doubled their lead seven minutes later when the unmarked Tomiko Goater’s sidefoot shot beat Figureido from close range after a cross from the left by Damon Ming.
Town were missing a key player themselves, with striker Ian Coke out injured, although they hardly missed him as they added a third goal late in the half when Simmons’s chip over the defence sent midfielder Ernest Trott through. The Hood defence stood waiting for an offside flag but Trott carried on and slotted past Figureido.
“I didn’t notice who they didn’t have, I don’t look at the [other] team until we get ready to play,” said Steede, who played in the heart of the defence before going off in the 82nd minute after taking a knock.
“Even after I noticed who they had on the field you have to respect who they had out there because they are the league champions. We had to come out there and prove we are just as good.”
Hood immediately looked a different team in the second half when they put pressure on the Town defence.
The visiting side pulled one back three minutes into the half when slack defending enabled Simmons to drive a low shot inside the far post.
Lozendro Symonds then drove a low shot past the far post as Hood enjoyed a good spell, with substitute Chris Ricca then sending in a cross from the right that grazed the crossbar.
Simmons had the ball in the net a second time in the 76th minute but the effort was ruled out for offside. At the other end, a shot from substitute Nizigh Spence was turned away for a corner by Figureido in the closing minutes after Oneko Lowe had a shot blocked.
“It was a rough game, we knew we had to fight hard today and going down early didn’t help,” said Hood coach John Barry Nusum. “We didn’t start the first half very good. The second half was a lot better — we got one back but couldn’t get the second one to really put some pressure on them.”
Simmons 3, Goater 17, Trott 35
Dandy Town (4-3-3): T Hall — G Liburd, E Moore, K Steede (sub: N Spence, 82min), E Blankendal — L Tucker, E Trott, J Shrubb (sub: O Lowe, 60) — D Ming, A Simmons, T Goater. Substitutes not used: J Martin, T Manders, D Walker, J Manders. Booked: Tucker, Moore, Moore.
Robin Hood (4-3-3): T Figureido — J Pereira, N Peskett, J Titterton, E Outerbridge (sub: P Froncioni, 86) — D Andrade, Z Burgess, L Symonds (sub: C Ricca, 70) — S Smith — L Simmons, M Burchall. Booked: Andrade.
Referee: M Wyer.